Mario Batali was a regular at The Spotted Pig’s third floor, nicknamed ‘the rape room’

The 3rd Mario Batali Foundation Honors Dinner

On Monday, Mario Batali was outed as a serial sexual harasser and sexual assailant. He’s apparently been mistreating, harassing and assaulting women for years. Some of the women were his employees, some were just random women he interacted with in public or private situations. Many people feel like the restaurant industry is ripe for these kinds of exposés because most kitchens are run by men, and restaurants are generally “boys clubs.” Like, Wall Street but with food. So it’s no surprise that the New York Times published another exposé, this time of Ken Friedman, the co-owner of the Spotted Pig in New York.

For people outside of New York, I don’t expect you to know the name “Ken Friedman” off hand. I didn’t know the name. But I still read the coverage, and guess who turned up at the Spotted Pig? Mario Batali. Apparently, the Spotted Pig has a third floor which is invitation-only “private space.” This private space is referred to as The Rape Room. How charming.

On Tuesday, the New York Times published an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against restaurateur Ken Friedman, co-owner of hip New York City restaurant the Spotted Pig. Although the report largely focuses on Friedman, it also alleges celebrity chef Mario Batali assaulted a woman in the Spotted Pig’s so-called “rape room.”

The Spotted Pig, located in Manhattan’s West Village, was a regular late-night spot for Batali, who stepped down Monday from his food empire amid sexual misconduct allegations. Like other VIP guests, after the restaurant’s dining room closed at night, Batali would frequently hang out on the third floor – an invitation-only space that employees and industry insiders claim has been nicknamed the “rape room.”

According to the Times, Friedman made it clear that regular restaurant rules do not apply on the third floor, and guests frequently groped female employees there. The restaurant’s employees claim they frequently witnessed Batali’s sexual aggression in the private space – and that Friedman knew it was going on. Per the Times: “Ms. [Jamie] Seet, the former manager, said that during a party in 2008, she intervened when she saw on the security camera feed that Mr. Batali, who was drunk, was groping and kissing a woman who appeared to be unconscious. A former server told the Times about Batali, ‘We called him the Red Menace.’ She continued, ‘He tried to touch my breasts and told me that they were beautiful. He wanted to wrestle. As I was serving drinks to his table, he told me I should sit on his friend’s face.’ Batali told the Times in a Tuesday email, ‘Though I don’t remember these specific accounts, there is no question I have behaved terribly.’”

[From The Cut]

Well, there you go. Everything is worse than you imagined. There was a major establishment in New York which was given the nickname “the rape room,” and well-known men used the place to assault women. Expose them all, media outlets. I seriously doubt this was the only establishment with a “rape room.”

Eataly L.A. Grand Opening

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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93 Responses to “Mario Batali was a regular at The Spotted Pig’s third floor, nicknamed ‘the rape room’”

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  1. Anon33 says:

    What does April Bloomfield have to say about all this?!?! Didn’t she co-found the Spotted Pig?!?

    • Eva says:

      Exactly, my first thought was “wait wasn’t The Spotted Pig run by a woman?!”

    • Deering24 says:

      According to the article, she’s complicit as all get-out. She essentially told victims that was how Ken rolled, and if they didn’t like it, they should leave.

  2. L84Tea says:

    Isn’t Mario Goopy’s buddy? Curious to hear what she has to say about this.

    • Pumpkin (formally soup, pie) says:

      Yes he is. She’s so delusional. I am totally expecting victim-blaming, metaphors, and defense of the abuser/criminal because they *are* friends. Yes I know about the HW situation. But you know, your friends never do anything wrong, à la Lena what’s her name.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        I’m not going to condemn GW until she actually says something. That isn’t fair. Now if she comes out with a whack *ss statement like what JK Rowling or Lena Dunham or begins yapping about how great he is like Kate Winslet has been doing with Woody Allen, then then that’s a different story. But I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt until she proves otherwise. While it’s important that women speak out and against this crap I also think we nees to be careful about holding women accountable for men’s bad behavior

      • Pumpkin (formally soup, pie) says:

        I understand what you are saying, but I don’t give her the benefit of the doubt. There is nothing about Goop that makes me think she is a nice person. I think she hates women. This is my opinion.

      • Molly says:

        Agreed, Valiantly Varnished. Paltrow doesn’t owe us an explanation for HIS behavior. They were professional colleagues and professional friends. We didn’t elect her to some office. She doesn’t work for us. I’m prepared to judge her statement if/when she makes one, but it’s certainly not required.

    • Sky says:


      I agree with everything you said. Let wait and see if she has to say before judging her, she might not say anything at all.

      • godwina says:

        Yeah. I’m no GOOPer, ugh, but we don’t how what she knew and her experience with him/his behaviour around her could have been vastly different. I say this as someone who twice published an author who was 100% professional and “progressive” with me all the time, but who a few years on I learned is a horrible anti-semite, whackjob, and death-threat maker. I had NO idea, even with the cursory profile search I did when I was working with him. Most of the bad stuff surfaced after the partnership and I *still* worry I’ll be somehow blamed for ever publishing him.

    • Adrien says:

      Just Goopy? He is also buddies with Michael Stipe. I don’t think Gwyneth is a real friend though. Why would she allow him to wear orange Crocs even outside the kitchen?

      • magnoliarose says:

        Michael Stipe is lucky he is no longer in the spotlight. He would be dragged in the press for underage boys.

    • magnoliarose says:

      What does she have to do with it? I would rather hear from his wife if she wants to talk but if not then cool too. She isn’t a man nanny. We don’t police our friends or acquaintances. THEY have to police themselves.

      • I Choose Me says:

        Thank you for saying this. I’m no fan of Gwyneth but as long as she doesn’t say something tone deaf and self-serving a la Winslet, I don’t see why she should comment about this POS at all.

    • imqrious2 says:

      He also just opened an Eataly here in Century City. I went the first week it opened, and I have to say, it was a pretty awesome place, and at the food was really good. Knowing what I know now, I will NEVER go back there! He is beyond disgusting. Just *reading* about this makes me want to stand in a Hazmat shower!

  3. Margo S. says:

    I worked at a restaurant as a food runner when I was 18. I wasn’t old enough to be a waitress. one night after closing, it was just me and the owner. He asked me to give him head. I obviously said no, and got myself out of there. The guy was 50.

    • Pumpkin (formally soup, pie) says:

      @Margo S. This is so disgusting. I would have told him no and take a shower too.

      • yellow belly says:

        I will say this gently because I feel you mean well, but you have no idea what you would have done.
        These types of comments feel good to write, but they are a form of questioning how the person reacted and giving ourselves a bit of heroic fantasy.

      • Pumpkin (formally soup, pie) says:

        @yellow belly: thanks for your comment. Indeed, it felt good writing the comment, that’s why I wrote it. I do NOT question how the person reacted.
        @Margo S. For the record: I definitely meant no judgement. You did the right thing.

    • yellow belly says:

      I’m sorry. Working in the service industry can be absolutely disgusting and you definitely had one of the gross ones. I’m glad you were able to leave and keep yourself safe.

    • Moon Beam says:

      That happened to my friend and me when we worked at Sam Goody (you guys remember that one). The manager, who looked like the comic book guy, said he would give us free stuff if we gave him a bj. It was horrifying. Glad you got out of there too. We told another male employee about this and he looked out for us from then on.

    • Willa says:

      That scenario and worse has happened to me in the biz. All too common.

    • KiddVicious says:

      A friend told me of a time she was in a similar situation. She was young, he was middle aged. She was so grossed out at the thought of it that she literally puked on him (he was standing right in front of her). He pretty much avoided her after that.

    • magnoliarose says:

      Gross. I am glad you escaped, but WTF is that? Just hey wanna give me a bj? Awful.

    • shlockOftheNEw says:

      Ugh. I was a waitress at a local joint where the chef/owner would abuse us for being “too slow” or “too stupid” then put his hand up our buttocks whenever he could. I just remembered this and never spoke about why I HATED THAT PLACE. Never enough showers to wash off that “dirty” feeling!

  4. wendywoo says:

    Jesus H Christ…

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    He looks like a spotted pig.

  6. minx says:

    He is just revolting.

  7. hindulovegod says:

    April is in the article, and it’s not good. She has always insisted that she is “one of the boys” in the kitchen. Now we know she did that at the expense of her female employees. Multiple employees told her. I won’t be patronizing any of her restaurants going forward.

    • Anon33 says:

      Thanks for responding.

      My god…

    • Veronica says:

      “One of the boys,” huh? I wonder how many of these women will feel surprised when the door slams in their face down the line, revealing they were never actually part of the club.

    • Neelyo says:

      Complicit. She basically told employees that’s how it was and if you couldn’t deal with it, find another job. Burn then all down!!!!

    • MC2 says:

      This jumped out to me in the og article about restaurants being run by men…..and a few women who seem to enjoy that culture because they somehow managed to rise to the top of the food chain. It’s like the idea that you break through the wall & then lock the door for others. I’ve known a couple of those…

    • Bridget says:

      I commented on something similar the other day. Most female chefs, in order to succeed in a profession overwhelmingly dominated by men, think they need to be “one of the guys”. You see it in how they run their kitchen, and in how brittle so many of them really seem to be. The women who don’t make that compromise seem across the board much happier and more professional.

      This? It’s disgusting. She was okay with it because having hot waitresses and a party spot likely brought in $$$. She was peddling the flesh of her employees.

  8. littlemissnaughty says:

    If you have a designated room where you send your employees to be assaulted, that’s human trafficking. And before anyone objects to that term, let me just say, I’m getting tired of these euphemisms like “sexual misconduct”. That sounds so quaint, doesn’t it? Let’s call this sh*t by its name and let’s not be precious about it. Mario Batali did not “behave terribly” or some sh*t.

    My god. Every day is throw-up-in-your-mouth-day.

    • hindulovegod says:

      Yes! I’m so sick of the euphemisms. Why do pedophilia, child molestation, and rape get called impropriety or misconduct? There’s a difference between an off color joke and felonies that land you on the sex offender registry. Call a spade a spade.

    • DavidBowie says:

      What she said ^^^^^

    • AngieB says:


    • Pumpkin (formally soup, pie) says:

      @lmn: SUPER SPOT ON!

    • Sigh... says:

      It’s shades & shadows of sex networking to me. Like CAA &/or Weinstein “meetings,” Bryan Singer “parties,” Lauer’s “rigged” office, this place & their “clients” were regularly FED victims, like lambs to the slaughter. Not only did no one STOP this disgusting behavior, it was silently encouraged, willfully assisted and fiercely protected, ultimately reinforcing their power.

      I would not blink a solitary tear of sympathy if the people who are found to have KNOWINGLY facilitated these designated patterns and places were brought down (financially) & up (legally) on charges as well (but we all know the ppl to do so are prob their pals, if not fellow participants 😒)

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        I would absolutely say CAA was/is involved in sex trafficking as well. What else is it??? I see no difference. You don’t need to take someone across borders or take their passport to be complicit in it.

        If an organization or group of people is in the business of forcing or coercing people to have sex against their will and for that group’s/organization’s gain, it’s called human trafficking. I have yet to read/hear that in the media, probably because they’re too chicken. But that’s what it is.

      • magnoliarose says:

        It needs to happen.

    • MC2 says:

      My own drop in the bucket to make a difference in this hell hole called American culture is that I have started calling my rape out to people when talking about it. I used to say “when I was abused” or “when you-know-what-happend” but it was all for other people’s comfort. I was raped- I’ve accepted it and I’m good with who I am today. So, rather then making other people comfortable & complicit, I just call it was it was- when I was raped.
      Some family members have bristled when I used the word rape but they are the same ones who always talk about it behind my back (“that is why she is so mad about Trump….cuz you-know-what happend”) so I don’t take it on.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        I respect that so much. It has to be hard, especially when it’s met with “Oh why do you have to make me uncomfortable?” I mean COME ON. I think it’s so important that we finally call these things what they are. All of this has gone so far beyond any misconduct. We have words for it, let’s use them. Words are important, the comfort level of people not affected is not.

    • I Choose Me says:


    • imqrious2 says:

      EXACTLY!!! WHEN are law enforcement/ DAs offices going to start looking into this?? There is certainly enough proof to get grand jury indictments. LET’S GET MOVING PEOPLE! It’s not enough to just *report* this crap, it needs to have solid CONSEQUENCES!

  9. monette says:

    When you think this can’t possibly get any worse…I’m speechless and so so tired.
    But yes, expose them ALL!!
    The “Rape Room”??

  10. Maggie says:

    ” I seriously doubt this was the only establishment with a “rape room.””

    If a building has a Trump sign then I’m pretty sure it also has a rape room.

  11. Tess says:


  12. Tw says:

    💯 true. Been there and to Cipriani upstairs. About time this came out.

  13. CharlieBouquet says:

    What is wrong with people!? Our society is so sick. I felt hopeful when I woke to find Doug won. Now I am back to emotional blanket fort status.
    My son watched The Chew with my mom, he loves cooking shows.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      I’m with you. Got my blanket, cuppa joe and everything. I love cooking shows and contests. Australian Masterchef runs circles around our Masterchef. But then you read stories about Marco Pierre White and cringe. I never watched anything with Mario, believe me I tried, but he’s always grossed me out. Now I have a superb reason.

  14. Neelyo says:

    The stories are horrible and Amy Pohler is mentioned as witnessing one of the humiliating incidents. When asked about it she basically denied seeing it.

    • Kimberly says:

      IF these allegations about Amy Pholer are true, then I am DISGUSTED and disappointed in her.
      That is an e.g. of an enabler.

      • msd says:

        C’mon there are no allegations about her. She said she didn’t recall seeing it and then said despite this she thought what was described was horrible. Not remembering a man being gross to a waitress years ago when men are routinely gross all the time isn’t the crime here!

  15. Dana_Porter says:

    We read the book “Heat” by Bill Buford last year for book club. It is about Buford becoming a cook/chef and a large part of it was him training at Batali’s Babbo. Definitely pick it up. It is enlightening, especially now with these allegations.

  16. PPP says:

    Another great thing we should be calling out is whether managers protect their workers. A manager can ask a groper to leave a restaurant. I’ve had managers that stood up for me, and those that haven’t. We should be calling them out for not doing so, and boycott The Spotted Pig for playing its ugly part in this.

    • Beckysuz says:

      Yes!!! So important that managers stand up for their female employees. I’ve worked in the service industry for 15+ years. Everywhere from dive bars to high end places. Dealt with so much crap from men , both guests and fellow employees. I’ll never forget the time a guest at my current job(very high end steakhouse) asked me if my pussy tasted good. Yes as I was politely serving him food he thought it was ok to ask me if my pussy tasted good. This guy was a very large white dude( prob 6’4 300lbs) and rather scary. I told my manager thinking nothing would be done. Now you have to understand this manager was a slim 5’7 southern black gay man. I only tell you this because I wouldn’t have blamed him for being hesitant to confront someone so much bigger. If he’s a pig to women he might also be a racist homophobe. But anyway my manager marched right over and told him that he was going to apologize to me, that he would never speak to another lady like that in this restaurant again, and he was no longer welcome there. It was beautiful. I received an apology and a 100% tip. The guy never came back. That is how you deal with sexual harassment. Sadly that is rare in the restaurant business

  17. Bridget says:

    Let’s talk about what it means when restauarants and bars prefer to hire hot women for their jobs with customer interactions – servers, bartenders, etc. The women are basically asked to make a trade off: deal with guys groping you, making comments, hitting on you, and make great tips. It’s an accepted practice ALL over the place, but it commoditizes women and leads to stuff like this. Just flirt with the customers and know that they’ll give you big tips, and hope that they don’t cross a line. It’s gross, but not shocking AT ALL.

    • magnoliarose says:

      In New York and other fashion cities, they hire struggling models and actresses for this reason. It gets wealthy predators in the door.

      • Bridget says:

        They’re not hired because they’re decorative. They’re hired because they want men to come in and spend money and the powers that be don’t care how its done. And then the restaurant staff themselves? It’s a boys club. Of course they don’t think of these women as anything other than ‘things’. And it’s across the board, in every town. Hot bartender? I can guarantee that she’ll talk about 2 things. How great the tips are, and how creepy customers could be.

  18. Bob says:

    This isn’t just a fancy people in Manhattan thing. I worked at a country club in the Midwest 20 years ago and there was a Men’s Grill, staffed exclusively by pretty young women who wouldn’t complain when the guys got handsy. Female members were strictly forbidden from entering the space. (I was given the less prestigious assignment of waiting on the Bridge Ladies, where there was only one woman who couldn’t stop patting my ass.)

  19. Elizabeth says:

    I’m not surprised by this, sadly. When I was 16 I worked at an Italian restaurant. There was a 50 something year old server. my manager told me “never let him walk you out to your car at night”. Said server constantly called and texted me at odd hours drunk trying to hook up with me. This was back when you couldn’t really block numbers. He would also corner me and ask really strange, personal questions. It was terrifying. I quit at 17. The harassment ended when I changed my number and went to college. I never worked in the industry again after that.

  20. LittlefishMom says:

    Could you imagine working there, knowing this was the “name” for that room? My gosh. It must be terrifying. I feel sick just reading this. Terrible, just terrible.

  21. Aerohead21 says:

    I just can’t some days…
    This isn’t directly MB directed…it’s directed at the whole thing.
    It’s so appalling and unreal.

    Where’s Bobby Flay? Remember when he was the bad guy??

  22. Lina says:

    I have a question for dear celebitchies today. This is probably the wrong place for it and I won’t mind if the mods delete my post, or fellow posters tell me it’s not appropriate. I’ve been thinking about sexual assault and harassment, like we all have. And of course I have been sexually harassed many times in my life. But I’ve been wondering about one incident years ago and I have never known if I should/could class it as sexual assault. I wonder if it is okay to bring that up here, since other posters do talk about their personal experiences and this is a really supportive group of people. What do you say celebitchies, is it okay to tell my story here?

    • magnoliarose says:

      As much as I babble and confess I say YES! This is a huge issue, and we are all grappling with it, so I don’t see why not.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Share your story if you feel comfortable doing so. If nothing else, you’d have gotten it off your chest. I’ve shared my own stories and it’s been cathartic.

      • Lina says:

        Thank you both! Here goes:

        I had just moved far away from home for school. During a break, I went to the city and stayed at the apartment of a friend from back home. One morning, he came into my room while I was still in bed. He got in to snuggle (which was a bit awkward since we didn’t have that kind of relationship, but I didn’t think much of it). He talked to me about my boyfriend (who I was having a fairly unsuccessful long distance relationship with). We’d all three gone to high school together. And then he kissed me. I sort of kissed back, but then I started crying (out of guilt I thought because I still had a boyfriend and also because I missed him, was homesick etc.). He consoled me and that was that.
        The next afternoon, we were hanging out and he told me that he couldn’t stop thinking about what had happened. I told him it was cool, it happens etc. I soon discovered that that wasn’t really what he meant when he moved closer to me and started fondling my breasts. I told him to stop and moved away from him.
        The final incident happened after we had been drinking with a group of his friends. I passed out in bed after drinking too much. I woke up after some time, to find him on top of him. It’s obviously not clear exactly what happened since I was really drunk/half-asleep. I think I “went with it” for a bit, until I felt him trying to penetrate me. After which I pushed him off me. He went away.
        I left the city soon after that and I haven’t talked to him since.
        I never really considered this sexual assault. When I talked to my friends about this, I didn’t present it as something traumatic, just something distasteful. “He tried to force himself on me” is something I would say, for example. Besides these incidents I have described, he was always kind of creeping on me in different ways while I stayed in his apartment. He was also a good friend, who helped me out. I thought I was “over it” years ago, but this has been surfacing in my mind a lot lately. Anyone, any thoughts? What do I call this?

      • PPP says:

        @Lina – yes, I think he absolutely assaulted you that last night, and I’m so sorry you had to go through it. Given everything you described, I think the guy was predatory from the get go, and I think part of what happened is that women are socialized to read men’s actions in an exceedingly charitable way. He knows you have a boyfriend, but he climbs into bed with you and cuddles you? He’s pushing a boundary, and I think he knew he was.

        You read it as platonic, and so you allowed that behavior. He took it as a signal that he could push it further. As for how you reacted to it, I think you were probably confused. It took me a looooooong time to be able to say “no” to guys, to an absurd extent. For me, at least, I finally realized it was because I’d grown up taking care of alcoholic parents, so I didn’t even know what I wanted half the time and spent far more time thinking about what other people wanted. However, I don’t think you need alcoholic parents to develop that trait.

        So I guess because of the way you “rejected” him, i.e. with tears and guilt and references to your boyfriend, he took that as a sign that he could try to push the boundary again. This time you were clear. So now he knows the only way he can get what he wants is when you are asleep and inebriated. “Going with it” is a pretty common response. You just woke up to this, you had very little time to understand what was going on and how to react. The same things that held you back when he kissed you, held you back here, but even more because you were sleepy and inebriated. And he knew what he was doing. Think about it. Would you ever start trying to have sex with a male friend who had rejected you when he was passed out drunk? Obviously not. It’s hideous behavior.

        Even though I’ve never been in an abusive relationship, reading “Why Does He Do That” helped me understand the mindset of predatory, controlling men better. They know what they’re doing, they do it intentionally, and they do it because they know they can get away with it. Maybe at a minimal level men don’t understand consent. For instance, I think we have all had the experience of saying “no” to something with a guy, and he immediately respects the “no,” but he tries to do the same thing later, over and over. It’s plausible to me that the guy is so self-involved that he doesn’t realize that wearing you down in this way is not getting consent. However, beyond that, I think guys know exactly what they’re doing. This is why I don’t buy men who say they didn’t understand what they were doing in their apologies, or that they’re from a different time. I have no doubt they have a lot of justification and denial going around in their solipsistic little minds, but I think to a degree they know what they’re doing and they do it because they think they’re better than women.

        But lastly I’d like to thank you for sharing your experience, because these kinds of experiences do genuinely help us understand these issues in context. It’s one thing to hear about the abstract importance of “enthusiastic consent,” but experiences like yours really help to put it in context.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Yes, that was assault. I am so sorry you had this experience, sweetheart!

        Him making sexual advances while you were drunk and/or passed out is completely out of line. Add to that the fact that you had already let him know that you didn’t want that kind of relationship with him multiple times, and it is clear that he was so very much in the wrong. He knew you weren’t down with this, and he tried to make it happen when you were vulnerable anyway.

        Hugs to you, Lina.

      • Lina says:

        @Tiffany thank you so much for listening and for your response. It really means a lot to me. I needed to hear “that was out of line”, since I don’t talk about this much with people in my life. Thank you! <3

      • magnoliarose says:

        Lina what he did was assault. If he took your clothes off, then that is attempted rape. That is why it has stayed with you, and this movement is bringing it all up. Your spirit and in your heart you knew it was wrong but minimized it to try to cope with it. That is what we are taught to do.
        Partially it is because rape victims and victims of assault have historically been shamed and treated as if they were to blame. It teaches us to hunt for our part of it or what we did to deserve it.
        Nothing. You did nothing, but it is hard to accept that because it feels foreign for women not to take the blame for a man’s actions. It feels physically and emotionally uncomfortable to realize it was all him. But then it also feels hard to understand that someone else had control of you against your will and it was someone you trusted. He demolished your boundaries and was willing to rape you unconcerned for your well-being. He most likely set up the entire evening to get you drunk so he could rape you.
        No true male friend would do that. No good person. He has a public face, but inside he is a disgusting criminal.
        You spoke out now for a reason. It is there inside, and you must release it because it doesn’t go anywhere but sit and fester in your mind and soul. He victimized you, and if he had succeeded even further, you could have prosecuted him with evidence. That is how serious his actions were.

        I disagree with PPP in one part, and that is I do think *some* guys misread a signal and honestly are remorseful and confused. I am flirty, friendly in social situations and didn’t realize that men may think “hey it is my chance” and try for personal contact until I was in my 20s. I am talking about a kiss or a lingering hug. Men live in the same society that tells them that they can, but a decent man is willing to listen and understand his mistake. You know when that is the case, and you don’t feel violated when that happens just a little confused and maybe embarrassed.

        #metoo. I understand.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Lina, you’re very welcome. The CB community has got your back!

      • Lina says:

        @magnoliarose thank you. that was a bit hard to read, but I appreciate your words. So true that I minimised it to try to cope. I still haven’t discussed in detail with anyone in my life, just mentioned to very few friends that he tried something, tried to force something and that’s why we don’t talk anymore.
        “But then it also feels hard to understand that someone else had control of you against your will and it was someone you trusted.” This is the hardest part for me, hard to see it articulated, hard to realise how much these words resonate.
        I have so much to think about tonight. I want to sincerely thank you, and everyone else who has listened and supported me. Big hug. <3

    • Jessa says:

      Lina, I personally do think it was assault. The kiss I think was innocent enough, the grabbing your boobs crossed the line, and him trying to have sex with while you were drunk was assault. When he kissed you pulled away, and when he grabbed your chest you pushed him away. So you had made it clear twice that you were not interested in him in that way. The fact that he tried again when you were drunk implies to me that he was hoping your inebriation would prevent you from pushing him off again. The fact that it bothers you still is because you rightly felt violated by him.

      • Lina says:

        Thank you Jessa. I think the way you have put it sounds about right to me. At the time, I felt upset because he knew I had a boyfriend (who he knew quite well too), so he knew I was unavailable. Later I found myself very angry with him, and didn’t want to have anything to do with him after the drunk incident (haven’t talked to him since). The fact that I didn’t push him away strongly (kissed him back a little that first time, didn’t immediately push him off when I was drunk) and the fact that he didn’t “force” me when pushed off…these are the things that made me think of this as not really assault. Also, irrelevantly, I was in a somewhat fucked up place at that point in life so somehow it was okay in a “shit is happening in my life” way. Sigh. This confusion is hard. Thanks for listening. <3

      • Lina says:

        @PPP thank you, I am truly so grateful for your response. everything you’ve written resonates so hard! I have already read your response a few times, and I think I will read it a few more times. I should add that this was a long time ago, more than 15 years ago. I was very young, still in high school. He was the same age as me but much more experienced and yes, now that you used the word “predatory” it seems a very apt description. Does it make sense when I say that my mind knew (and has known for a while, since I’m older and wiser) already that “this was assault” but there was still this voice inside me going “but but he didn’t actually…” ? It’s still kind of there. That’s the hard thing for me. The feeling that this wasn’t much, that I shouldn’t let it bother me, make a fuss, that others have suffered more, etc.
        Thank you again for listening and for your words that have helped me so much today!

      • PPP says:

        @Lina– oh, I hear you so hard on mitigating the negativity of these experiences! I don’t even know what to make of my tendency to do the same. Is it a self-protective instinct? Is it because I’ve internalized societal messaging and am too afraid that I’ll experience blowback if I describe it the way I know deep down it was? Is it because if I am too sensitive I won’t be able to survive the even worse stuff? Is it because I actually have trained myself to treat the daily death by a thousand cuts like it’s water so that I can survive? That’s a hard one.

      • Lina says:

        @PPP definitely all of the above! 🙂

      • magnoliarose says:

        I think we just learn it when we first told No and Be a good girl when we are just expressing our strength. Our fathers teach us a lot about what society expects of us, and even if they are great, then society steps in to finish the job or do it for them.
        It is a struggle to fight through it, but we have to be aware of it and not let it determine our feelings.

    • Bridget says:

      Oh Lina.

      I can understand the wanting to shut this away and wanting to think the best of someone. But no one who tries to use your body when you are passed out is a good person. No man who repeatedly forces himself on you despite knowing that you are not interested is a good person. And yet as women, we have this screwed up notion drilled into us – don’t make waves. Don’t make him feel bad. Don’t make a scene. It’s all the stuff that we’re constantly told that makes us minimize ourselves and doubt our self worth.

      Girl. You are worth so much. You do not deserve this treatment. It doesn’t matter if you’re drunk, you kissed him that one time, or looked a certain way. No one has a right to touch your body unless you want them to.

  23. Neva_D says:

    “Well, there you go. Everything is worse than you imagined” is the perfect logo for 2017.

  24. Helen Smith says:

    My brother, now sister, is transgender. The first comment that fell out of my mouth when she shocked me by coming out was a question, “Why would you want to be a woman in this effed up culture when you could be a white male?” Then, I followed with all kinds of examples of how it sucks to be female. Sexual harassment and assault featured in the list as I and my mother have been victims of both in the workplace. My sister didn’t have an answer but she is hanging in there going on four years a lady this spring.

  25. mannori says:

    uhm…Bono, Sean Penn and a few others from Penn’s circle of famous friends are investors in The Spotted Pig. De Niro is a regular too. So… the Rape Room, ugh? Do with that info whatever you want.